James Mattis – Too Much Neptune?

With the weed-like growth of advertised pharmaceuticals that promise relief from emotional ailments to illnesses with long Latin names, you’d think there was a pill for my current problem.

“Can you say that again, please,” the doctor asked after I explained my condition.

“I said I want former Ohio governor John Kasich to be president. This thought won’t leave my mind.”

Giving me a quizzical and concerned look, she asked why that was an ailment.

“Because I’m quite liberal,” I replied. “This is aberrant thinking.”

Her concerned look changed into one of irritated indifference that indicated I was wasting her time.

“You’re simply looking for stability in a chaotic world,” she stated flatly. “Having a president who can keep his word for at least 24 hours probably seems soothing right now. I recommend you stop watching the news.”

If restless leg syndrome can be cured, so could this, I thought. I wasn’t going to give in so easily. I’m quite sure the pharmaceutical industry has developed something that wipes contradictory political thoughts from your mind.

I pressed on. “I shed a tear when former FBI director James Comey was fired,” I said. “And now the Secretary of Defense James Mattis has resigned and I want to write him a letter telling him I loved him. And if you had asked me a week ago the name of the Secretary of Defense I couldn’t even had told you.”

The doctor appeared more concerned now.

“You cried over James Comey?” she said.

I nodded.

“What about former Attorney General Jeff Sessions? Did you cry when he resigned?” she probed.

“Heck no,” I said.

“You’re fine then. Just stop watching the news.”

The Safety of Unpredictability

The Trump Administration is truly a political astrologer’s dream – a constantly changing staff, some with negative tenure, constant raw material for a political blog. The problem is that there are simply not enough hours in the day to keep track. High school students in Civics class must have a difficult time on tests – information probably changes from the time they studied to the time of the test.

No matter how unpredictable a person may be, there are always patterns. Meditation has taught me that we are generally trying to remain safe, no matter how unusual or “unsafe” our actions appear.

The safety of constant change and unpredictability is that the world will always be at a distance, never too close. By keeping others off-balance, they can’t get close enough to overtake you.

This strategy of instability is the foundation of US foreign policy developed by Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon. These two encouraged tense global situations such as that between Pakistan and India because when others fight each other, they do not have the energy or resources to gang up against you. Most of our foes today were once our allies against other, distant foes.

President Trump’s unpredictability described astrologically arises from a Uranus/sun conjunction in Gemini opposing the moon in Sagittarius. Gemini and Sagittarius are “mutable” – fluid, flexible and adaptable signs. Uranus also creates unpredictability in a sign (Gemini) that is already is constantly changing. Uranus is also the planet of enlightenment and inspiration; Uranus is what is both liked and disliked about Trump.

In a sense, Trump is “enlightening” a populace that normally pays a minimum of attention to the underlying realities of politics. Trump both enjoys and seeks safety in a constantly-changing environment.

Power and control

This week Secretary of Defense James Mattis wrote a resignation letter that according to some journalists is a “rebuke” of President Trump’s recent foreign policy decision to withdraw troops from Syria. In typical Trump Uranus/sun fashion, the promise to leave Syria was done suddenly without thought or consultation.

Each political exit has its own characteristics, but there are some common themes in the last few exits (former FBI Director James Comey, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions) that include Saturn and Pluto.

Saturn is the planet of contraction and rules “rules,” law, authority, structure and government. Pluto is the planet of transformation (often destroying first) and is powerful, destructive and regenerative.

When Pluto entered Capricorn (which itself is ruled by Saturn) in 2008, it began destroying Capricorn structures including the housing market, banking and government. In December 2017, Saturn entered Capricorn for a two-year transit and in 2020 will be conjoined with Pluto.

Saturn and Pluto together create intense situations of struggle for power and control. This is a pivotal time in US politics as the US was “born” with Pluto in 27 degrees of Capricorn so the US is collectively learning some painful and deep lessons on the use of power and control.

For seven years from 2011 to present, Uranus was in Aries creating a square to Pluto. Arab Spring began in 2011 and some countries, including Syria, are still involved in war resulting from that time.

The transits symbolize the energies we all experience. Public figures merely provide a glimpse of what it feels like for many people.

James Mattis

Soon-to-be-former Secretary of Defense Mattis has natal Saturn conjunct sun in Virgo. The moon is either in Cancer or Leo but I would suspect Leo which provides the fortitude needed in politics. Pluto and Venus are conjunct in Leo and square to Mars in Scorpio.

The “rebuke” resignation letter is very Virgo in that it’s critical and detailed (versus “I’m retiring to spend more time with my cat.”) Saturn conjunct one’s sun tends to repress some of the characteristics of the sun and basic, conscious personality. In Virgo, there’s an extremely perfectionist nature that also demands “perfection” from others. I’m guessing Mattis is never (ever) late to a meeting and edits all missives in great detail before release.

Virgo in combination with Leo is probably what aided Mattis in his life as a Marine. He has both the earth-sign Virgo attention to detail and the moon/Pluto/Venus in fire-sign Leo sense of self. He is both disciplined and presentable.

The fixed square between Leo and Scorpio provides drive that is not always in Virgo nature. Virgo is definitely busy, consumed with millions of daily tasks with no end to the to-do list. But busyness is not truly drive – it’s being on the hamster wheel with no true purpose; the fixed signs provide Mattis with the purpose and focus to become a cabinet member.

While there are Saturn and Pluto aspects that are probably affecting Mattis’ decision to resign, I suspect it’s Neptune that’s really what Mattis can no longer tolerate.

First, Saturn in the early degrees of Saturn is opposing Mattis’ natal Uranus in Cancer and recently square Mercury in Libra and currently square Neptune in Libra. Pluto in Capricorn opposed natal Uranus in Cancer in late 2012 and early 2013 which is when he retired from the Marine Corps after being fired by President Obama as head of the Central Command.

Surviving a Pluto transit usually makes one stronger. If you’ve survived Pluto’s pulling the rug of all that you know and have known from under you, you’re usually one more step up the evolutionary ladder and ready for what comes next.

Neptune in Pisces

In the world of military, power and politics, Saturnine and Plutonian types are the norm. With Saturn conjunct sun and Pluto conjunct Venus, Mattis is right at home with these types. He chose a path – the Marines – that meets his own standards of discipline and dignity.

The current aspect that Mattis probably most dislikes is transiting Neptune in Pisces which opposes his sun and Saturn conjunction. On the day of his resignation, Mars was also in Pisces (and still is) and opposing Saturn in Virgo. This is what probably the straw that broke the camel’s back and led him to part with the Trump Administration at this time.

Virgo is analysis and detail; its opposite, Pisces, is synthesis and big picture. Virgo thinks; Pisces feels. Virgo is clear; Pisces is foggy. Virgo has a schedule; Pisces may have a schedule but has trouble following it. Virgo disciplines; Pisces empathizes.

In a world of Virgo detail, Saturnine discipline and Plutonian power structures, Neptune is not welcome. If Mattis’ horoscope is akin to the Marines, Neptune is the CIA, murky and mysterious. If military is about following orders, CIA is about breaking the rules and creating a constant hall of mirrors where image may not be reality.

Virgo hates that.

For Mattis, Trump may appear less Uranian (inspired and unpredictable) and more Neptunian (foggy with unclear motives driven by emotion).

Mattis has natal Jupiter in Pisces in zero degrees retrograde. Mattis has some awareness of the disorder that lies within order. Neptune entered Pisces in spring 2011 (Arab Spring) and transited this point in Mattis’ horoscope. I’m guessing that at that time Mattis’ disciplined world began to first unfold which was just before the advent of the Obama Administration.

I’m guessing that for Mattis’ in 2011 all the rules changed. For a Virgo or anyone with a lot of earth signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn), changing rules are very disruptive to the psyche.

Neptune in Pisces continues

Neptune will be opposing Mattis’ sun then Saturn until about 2023. At that time, Saturn will enter Pisces adding a new type of emotional challenge to a restrained personality. By that time, Mattis will hopefully have embraced confusion and ambiguity as the new norm. His natal Saturn may realize, too, that we collectively shoulder the responsibility for defining and support an evolving society. It is not his burden alone.


About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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1 Response to James Mattis – Too Much Neptune?

  1. Pingback: Happy Pluto Return, USA! | Ohio Astrology

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